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Environmental group hails halting of mining project in Mindanao

Environmental activist group Kalikasan on Wednesday hailed the Tampakan municipal government’s termination of its agreement with a mining company over a copper-gold mining project in Central Mindanao.
Citing the decision of the local government, Kalikasan said halting the Tampakan project of the Sagittarius Mines Inc. (SMI) would prevent the displacement of thousands of indigenous peoples and destruction of thousands of hectares of forests and agricultural lands in Mindanao.
“We congratulate the municipal officials of Tampakan, South Cotabato for their position and action against the Tampakan mining project. Their principled stance shows that ecological integrity and people’s health and welfare are far more precious than the false promises of big mining,” Kalikasan national coordinator Leon Dulce said.
“The 12-year extension given by the Duterte government to the Tampakan mining project, if not stopped, will result in irreversible consequences harming current and future generations,” he added.
Kalikasan noted that in 2010 the South Cotabato provincial government passed an environmental code banning open-pit mining technology, which hindered SMI’s mining project because their primary way to extract minerals is through open pit mining. 
In spite of strong local opposition, SMI and its investors continue to pursue the project, the group said, adding that this resulted in militarization and numerous human rights violations.
Dulce pointed out that the local government of Tampakan’s opposition to the project is significant in the various people’s struggles against the Tampakan mining project.
“We encourage more patriotic and genuine government employees and leaders to do the same especially those from Sultan Kudarat, Davao del Sur, and Sarangani covered by the Tampakan mine. Follow suit in stopping these mines from exploiting our natural resources and violating the rights of our people,” Dulce said.
The Tampakan project lies in a 23,571-hectare site at the intersection of the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and Davao del Sur.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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